One of the marketers behind Tourism Queensland’s Best Jobs in the World campaign is aiming to smash a world record with his latest marketing brainwave as he continues to lead the rebirth of domestic coach tour operator AAT Kings.
Anthony Hayes was instrumental in the Best Jobs campaign when he was chief executive at Tourism Queensland, a campaign that was bought to life by CumminsNitro. It was lauded as a huge success winning dozens of awards internationally, and was estimated to have generated $200 million worth of media coverage for the tourism body.
Now chief executive at AAT Kings, which offers coach holidays and day trips across Australia and New Zealand, Hayes came up with a plan to strip seats from a coach and turn into a mobile lawn bowls green.
The reconditioned vehicle is now on a journey through 60 country towns en route to Sydney where it is scheduled to arrive at the end of August. Once there, AAT Kings will attempt a world record for the longest continuous game of laws bowls, which currently stands at 40 hours.
Community events have been planned at each stop with locals invited to have a game of bowls.
“We wanted something quirky that reinforced the brand messaging,” Hayes said. “You need to come up with one big idea a year and wherever possible it should be something out of the box.
“It was designed as a thank you for the support we have had but clearly there is a sales message and brand building message.”
To coincide with the bus tour, the company has run radio campaigns with Australian Radio Network with ads featuring AAT Kings’ staff.
The campaign has deliberately targeted country towns which account for around half of AAT Kings’ sales and where the coach operator is increasingly directing its marketing dollars.
The bowls tour comes 10 months after AAT Kings relaunched after a turbulent couple of years which saw sales slump. The relaunch was backed by a major advertising campaign, with radio a focus, as it aimed to “reintroduce AAT Kings to the Australian public”.
Hayes said radio will remain its key marketing vehicle, with Bohemia responsible for its media spend.
“We use our own staff in the ads and radio allows us to get our personality across,” he said.